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Pasto, Narino

Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is variably defined either as being a region of the Americas in its own right or as the southern portion of North America. Physiographically, Central America is a tropical isthmus that connects North and South America. It includes 7 countries and many small offshore islands. Overall, the land is fertile and rugged, and dominated through its heart by a string of volcanic mountain ranges with a few active volcanos.
Pasto is the capital of the department of Narino, located in southwest Colombia. The city is located in the Valle de Atriz, on the Andes cordillera, at the foot of the Galeras volcano, at an altitude of 2.527 metres above sea level. The city has a population of approximately 450,000 inhabitants. Area is 118,01 square kilometers, and density is 3592,6 habitants square kilometers.
Pasto was founded in 1539 by the Spanish conquistador Lorenzo de Aldana under the name San Juan de Pasto. Pasto is a reference to the name of the indigenous people who inhabited the place at the arrival of the conquerors, the Pastos. It has been an administrative, cultural and religious center of the region since colonial times, because of this, the city is known as the theological city of Colombia.
Pasto is the centre of an agricultural region specializing in the production of dairy products. The manufacturing of furniture is an important part of the local economy. The city is an important centre of commerce and trade with nearby Ecuador.
One of the most important events held by the city is the Blacks and Whites' Carnival, with outstanding displays of craftmanship in floats portraying legends and traditions, often mixed in with references to current political events in Colombia.
A speciality of this region is a pre-columbian art technique called Barniz de Pasto, or Pasto Varnish in English. This uses a type of natural rubber is colored and then stretched over woodwork pieces; finally the skillful artisan uses a special knife to cut and create the many beautiful designs that characterise this artistic technique.

As it is often regarded as among the most beautiful parts of Central America one of the most visited places amongst the most die-hard travelers the world over.

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